Chronic Back Pain in Cold WeatherWhether you are someone who is constantly active or a self-declared “couch-potato,” odds are you have experienced some sort of back pain in your life. It is common for people to have back pain every so often, but when should you worry? It can be hard to distinguish between normal back pain and signs of a more serious back issue. That’s why we’ve outlined how you can tell when you should go see a neurosurgeon about your back pain.

What is Considered Normal Back Pain?

Back pain is very common, and you can usually take measures to prevent or alleviate it on your own. Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. The pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, lifting, twisting, standing, or walking.

Back pain can be due to many different reasons. Some factors that contribute to developing back pain are:

  • Age - Starting around ages 30 or 40, back pain becomes more common.
  • Lack of exercise - Weak or unused muscles in your back and abdomen can lead to back pain.
  • Excess weight - Excess body weight puts extra stress on your back.
  • Improper Lifting - Using improper technique when lifting something, like lifting with your back instead of your legs, can lead to back pain.
  • Diseases - Some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.

Simple at-home treatment and proper body mechanics will usually heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. Most back pain should gradually improve with this at-home treatment and self care, but if it persists for a long time, it may be time to see your back pain specialist.

When Should I See a Neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon is a medically trained physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the spine, brain, and nervous system. A neurosurgeon is the ideal person to visit when you are experiencing certain types of back pain, as they are specifically trained in diagnosing the cause and recommending the best route of treatment for your pain relief, including surgery. A few signs that you should visit a neurosurgeon are:

  • The pain persists - If your pain has not been alleviated by non-surgical treatments and has continued for weeks or months, it may be time to visit a neurosurgeon.
  • The pain is severe - If your pain is extremely severe and does not respond to pain medications, you should consult with a neurosurgeon.
  • Your ability to function is affected - If your ability to function in everyday activities like driving or going to work has been impacted, it is best to visit a neurosurgeon sooner than later.
  • You have numbness or tingling - Back pain accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness could be a sign of nerve irritation or damage. Nerve pain is serious and can lead to permanent damage if left untreated, so it is best to visit a neurosurgeon as soon as you can.
  • The pain spreads to other parts of the body - If you experience severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas, like shooting down your leg, you should visit a neurosurgeon. This could be a sign of sciatica, which is a condition that usually results from a herniated disc.

While back pain can be a typical occurrence, it shouldn’t reach a certain level of severity or last for an extended amount of time. If you have noticed these signs or symptoms, you should visit a neurosurgeon sooner than later. Dr. Michael Verdon at Dayton Neurological Associates is experienced in treating a variety of conditions, surgically and non-surgically, to alleviate your pain.

Dayton Neurological Associates provides Dayton, OH with back pain relief, neurosurgery, and concussion care. With cutting-edge diagnostics and high success rates, Dr. Michael P. Verdon improves patients’ function and quality of life. We offer services ranging from lumbar discectomy surgery to lumbar fusion and more. If you would like to schedule an appointment, schedule one online today, or contact us at (937) 797-3137 for more information.